PORT ARANSAS TEXAS

TEXAS REGIONS

GULF COAST

Map of the Port Aransas Area & 
Additional Port Aransas Information

Aerial view of Port Aransas and Mustang IslandPort Aransas is located on the northern tip of Mustang Island. Mustang Island is so named because Spaniards began bringing wild horses, "mestenos" in Spanish, to the island in the early 1800s.

In addition to Mustangs, pirates also made Port Aransas home in the early 1800s. Including famed pirate, Captain Jean Lafitte. Local legend has it that there is still buried pirate treasure to be found on Mustang Island.

The modern day Port Aransas economy is not pirate based, it is tourism and fishing that has made Port Aransas one of the most popular vacation destinations in Texas.

Port Aransas has a population of around 3,500. But in spring and summer visitors swell the population by the thousands, at times 60,000, or more, staying in resorts, condos, motels, cottages, bed & breakfasts, beach houses and tents & RVs, enjoying fresh seafood shops, restaurants, boutiques and beautiful open beaches.

You can still stay at the historic Tarpon Inn, originally built in 1886, and rebuilt several times after hurricane wipe-outs. Named for a now rarely seen sports fish, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed at the Tarpon Inn in 1937 and managed to catch a tarpon.

Port Aransas is a very popular Birding destination. You can visit the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center and the Port Aransas Visitor Center for birding brochures. In town you can birdwatch from the Port Aransas Birding Center. Port Aransas and Mustang Island have numerous sites on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.

The Historic Tarpon Inn in Port Aransas The Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas is the oldest marine research station on the Texas Gulf Coast. The institute is dedicated to sciences related to ecology, biochemistry and physiology relating to animals and plants of the sea. The visitors center offers educational movies and self-guided tours.

Just about any store on Mustang Island will sell you a beach parking permit. You'll find Port Aransas Park at the northern point of the island. There you will find an over 1,200 foot long lighted fishing pier. Two city piers, one at Roberts Point Park and the other at the north end of Station Street are free public fishing venues.

The best swimming near Port Aransas is found at Mustang Island State Park with its 5 miles of pristine sandy beach. Magee Beach Park is another nearby beach good for a quick dip and a beach walk.

WHERE TO STAY IN PORT ARANSAS

You will find plenty of lodging choices, in addition to the Tarpon Inn, in Port Aransas, Allister Square Inn, Best Western Ocean Villa, Holiday Inn Express, Harbor View B & B, Aransas Princess Condominiums, Beachgate CondoSuites & Motel, Sand Castle Condominiums, La Mirage Resort Condominiums, Cline's Landing, Executive Keys, Sea Gull Condominiums and Port Royal Ocean Resort & Conference Center. Call the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce at 800.45.COAST for a listing of available condos.

WHERE TO EAT IN PORT ARANSAS

It should be no surprise that you can easily find seafood in Port Aransas. There is Steamer's, with its Boston Bucket of steamed shellfish. At Crazy Cajun you'll find seafood with a New Orleans twist. Yankee and Betty's Flounder Run, where "you catch e'm, we cook 'em." Shells Pasta & Seafood has a good reputation for good seafood. Locals like the mermaid soup at Lisabella's. A fun totally casual seafood joint is Trout Street Bar & Grill. More seafood is to be had at Pelican's Landing Restaurant. There may be some seafood on the menu, but authentic Italian cuisine is what you'll find at the Venetian Hot Plate. If it is pizza you are looking for, head to Port A Pizzeria.

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